Downloadable book Planning a celebration of life
Funeral thank you notes

Funeral thank you notes are perfect for sending after a funeral or memorial service. If you need help writing your thank you notes, download our book Planning a Celebration of Life. It contains sample thank you notes plus much more.

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Sample Eulogy

The free sample eulogy below is a good example of a eulogy to start the service. The eulogy gives a good overview of Molly's life, her early years, marriages, children, professional career and interests. The poem is very personal and appropriate and the reading leads to others who will add their own words. This is the sort of eulogy that would be read by a close friend or celebrant.

Sample Eulogy

Molly was born in San Mateo, California, on January 11, 1950, to John, a businessman, and his wife, Catherine Louise. Molly was their second child and joined her older brother John. Three and a half years later, little sister Bridget was added to the family.

Molly grew up in northern California town, but spent her middle school and early high school years in Connecticut. Early on she showed evidence of the lively spirit that was her signature throughout her life. She was a tomboy, climbing trees, hiking in the woods and running around – once ending up on crutches for six months. She adored horses and always chose to go to ranch-style summer camps. During the summers when the family lived in the East, she and Bridget had a farm stand, selling corn and tomatoes from the family garden. By her senior year, the family moved back to California and Molly finished up at Saint Vincent High School in Petaluma.

When it was time for college, Molly came to the University of Arizona and majored in English. She transferred to UC Davis for just a semester, then came back to the U of A. Molly had a beautiful soprano voice and in these years she frequently played the guitar, accompanying herself. She had a gift for music – by just hearing a piece of music she was able to reproduce it on the guitar. Because of her lovely voice, she was enlisted to sing at many of the family weddings. In later years, when Molly went to a class reunion, taking Megan along as her date, many of her former classmates came up and recounted their memories of her singing and playing.

Molly’s first job was at the Tucson Citizen as a proofreader in 1972. She then moved into the legal field, starting as a secretary. As she became more knowledgeable, she began doing paralegal work and over the next 30 years worked for several law firms. She became such an expert in personal injury that co-workers went to her for advice, and the word was, “if you need to know something about litigation, ask Molly.”

One of the friends she met in the law field was Kay. They worked together for about six years but remained friends for decades, growing closer over the years as they shared experiences of raising children and pets. Another friend she met from work was Shaye, and we will hear from Shaye later.

In March of 1980, Molly was married to Paul. By that time her mother Louise had passed on, but at Molly’s wedding, her dad read a poem that was one of Louise’s favorites and one she had frequently said reminded her of her beloved middle daughter.

Reading for sample eulogy:

These are the words of Carl Sandburg:

I love you for what you are, but
I love you yet more for what you are going to be.
I love you not so much for your realities
As for your ideals.

I pray for your desires that they may be great
Rather than for your satisfactions,
Which may be so hazardously little.

A satisfied flower is one
Whose petals are about to fall.
The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud
Wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire
Are working for larger and finer growth.

Not always shall you be what you are now.
You are going forward toward something great.

I am on the way with you and therefore –
I love you.

Sample Eulogy Continued:

Molly’s first child, Megan, was born in 1980, followed by little brother Colter in 1983. Although Molly continued to work in the legal field, she was dedicated to her children. She managed to “do it all” by being very organized. She took her children to the library and read to them frequently, sharing with them her own love of books, both modern titles and well-known classics. As her children got older, she was the consummate soccer mom, driving them to their games and cheering from the sidelines. If they were playing basketball or in a school play, she was there.

Molly interacted with her children according to their needs and personality. With Megan she spent Saturdays on many mother-daughter activities including such girl-y pleasures buying prom dresses. As we all know, boys would rather do anything but shop, so she took Colter to pool halls and taught him how to get those balls into the pockets. She was also an excellent Scrabble player and taught her kids the game. Megan and Colter remember that their mom always kept her sense of humor – whether that meant being a good sport during April Fool’s jokes or biting her nails while teaching her kids to drive.

In once instance when Megan was learning to drive, she pulled out of a Pima College parking lot and drove about 200 yards down the wrong lane. Molly did get a little excited while urging her to get back in the right lane, but that didn’t deter her from going out with Meghan on the next lesson.

It is important for a mom to be a good cook and Molly was. She loved to barbecue and make her kids’ favorites for their birthdays – cheesecake for Megan and chocolate mousse pie for Colter. From her days as a child in California, Molly carried with her a love of the ocean and many family vacations were spent near a beach so she could share this experience with her children.

After 20 years of marriage, Molly and Paul divorced in 2000. In 2001 Molly had a brief second marriage. Following that divorce, she took back her maiden name.

With her children on their own, Molly had more time for herself and was able to focus on activities such as redecorating, listening to her favorite music on CDs and growing roses. The gardening was a further extension of her green thumb. She had always had lots of house plants and many people commented that her home resembled a jungle inside. Molly also loved the natural environment and hated to see the desecration of the desert.

Meghan and Colter remember their mother as beautiful both inside and out. “She was always positive and strong,” Meghan says. “She taught me how to be a strong intelligent woman.” Colter says, “I can always look at a life situation and think – this is how she would do it.”

Molly was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in January of 2002. At first it appeared that surgery and chemotherapy had arrested the disease, but tragically doctors later confirmed that the cancer had spread.

But that did not defeat her. In May of 2003, Molly, Meghan and Colter traveled to Cozumel together for a week. She was a nervous traveler, but her kids – who had more experience in this arena than she – were able to calm and reassure her. Once in Mexico, they had a glorious vacation together – enjoying each other even more as they realized how precious and tenuous life can be. The three of them snorkeled in the warm turquoise water, visited the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza and every night watched the sunset together.

Those sunset moments it turned out were a metaphor for their life together. Molly kept fighting her disease to the end. She thought she would have more time, she thought she could hold on until a cure was found. So did her friends and family. Only in middle-of-the-night phone calls with Meghan and her friend Shaye would she admit that she was scared. Despite considerable pain from the disease that was spreading through her body, Molly continued working until October.

The cancer took her life just three short years from the time of diagnosis. Molly’s body has been cremated and Meghan and Colter will scatter her ashes on the ocean she loved so much.

 

Second Reading

The following reading is appropriate because of Molly’s love of plants and gardens. The writer tells of connecting with the spirit of a loved one while sitting in a garden.


Finding You in Beauty

The rays of light filtered through
The sentinels of trees this morning.
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.

I thought of you.

I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers

As the sun penetrated their petals
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you do.

I’m very happy to have found you,
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you in the beauty of life.
--Walter Rinder

May all of you take a moment to remember Molly and to connect with her generous spirit the next time you find yourself in a lovely garden.



Our top selling items for personalizing a life celebration:


These plantable heart cards can be personalized with your loved ones name and distributed to friends and family. They can then plant the heart and wildflowers will grow in their memory.

Consider lighting a personalized candle at the memorial service and placing a flower in the personalized bud vase

Click here for a selection of candles and memorial favors





Have friends and family share memories of your loved one on these memory cards. Often these are distributed at the service, the memories that are shared will provide comfort to you now and in the years to come. Cards are also available with drilled holes, for inserting into our memory books.


At the service, distribute these pouches with a vial of wildflowers inside and every year beautiful wildflowers will bloom in memory of your loved one. More information about unique memorial gifts.

A great collection of memorial poems and verses


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Back to 7 Steps for Creating a Funeral Eulogy